Journalist Nicolo Schira has revealed Napoli's prize asset Kalidou Koulibaly could leave in the summer if they miss out on Champions League football.
What's the latest on Koulibaly?
The Senegalese defender joined the Italian club during the summer of 2014 and has gone on to make 277 appearances for Napoli. However, his time in Serie A could potentially be coming to an end this summer.
According to Italian journalist Schira, the central defender could move to the Premier League in a £51.68m deal.
"Kalidou Koulibaly could leave in the summer, if Napoli don’t access the UCL. De Laurentiis wants €60M to sell the centre-back (his contract expires in 2023). Everton and Manchester United are looking at KK," the reporter shared.
How interested are Everton in signing Koulibaly?
It has previously been reported by Football Insider that Carlo Ancelotti is on the hunt for a world-class centre-back this summer, and Koulibaly would fall into that remit.
An Everton source has told the website that the Italian isn't satisfied with the club's current options and is looking for an upgrade in the next transfer window.
It has also emerged that Koulibaly is Ancelotti's top target this summer, as per Football Insider.
All in all, it looks like Director of Football Marcel Brands will be devoting plenty of time to trying to strike a deal for Koulibaly in the coming months.
What's Koulibaly's form been like this season?
This season, the central defender has made 20 Serie A appearances for the Naples side but has also missed a handful of games.
Throughout the 2020/21 season, Koulibaly has been unavailable for eight fixtures, as he suffered a muscle injury in December and later contracted coronavirus in February.
But during his time on the pitch, the towering centre-back has provided some solid defensive numbers.
According to WhoScored, Koulibably has averaged 1.9 clearances, 1.2 tackles and one interception per game in Serie A this season, while completing 89% of his passes.
His performances for Napoli has earned him an average WhoScored rating of 6.81.
Would he be better than Everton's current centre-back options?
Ancelotti has largely relied on a combination of Yerry Mina and Michael Keane this season as his centre-back pairing. According to Football Insider's source, the manager isn't happy with his current options.
It's important to note that both of these players have achieved a higher WhoScored average rating than Koulibaly, with 6.88 and 6.92 respectively.
Furthermore, Ancelotti previously spoke to The Athletic about how both Keane and Ben Godfrey, another centre-back option, have significantly improved under his management.
Nonetheless, Koulibaly has been recognised as one of the world's best in his position in recent years. Sadio Mane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer both agree with that assessment, while the Napoli star was previously linked with Manchester United, Liverpool and PSG.
With that in mind, it's hard to think that he wouldn't improve Everton's defence.
Is he worth £51.68m?
Koulibaly has established himself as one of the top centre-backs in the world and Brands needs to put all of his efforts into signing the defender.
As proven in the past, the Toffees' director of football is more than capable of bringing big names to Merseyside, with James Rodriguez being the prime example.
Just over £50m seems like a fair price for a player of Kouliably's ability, although age should be a concern for Everton - the centre-back will turn 30 before the start of next season.
Nonetheless, Brands should trust Ancelotti's instincts and look to make the gaffer's dream of bringing Koulibaly to Goodison a reality.News Now - Sport News